Kudos to Jim Pasin and the other members of the Citizen Advisory Committee who sharpened their pencils and worked so hard to keep Narrows Bridge tolls low. I fervently hope they stick to their practice of recommending that Narrows Bridge tolls, and the corresponding fund balance, be kept as low as possible.
State Treasurer Jim McIntire’s ambition to increase the fund balance is misguided and ultimately not beneficial to the tollpayers. Any large, untapped fund balance only encourages extravagant spending by those with access to it and will eventually prove to be too tempting to be left alone.
The Citizen Advisory Committee should adhere to its doctrine of keeping the reserve balance as low as possible and thereby minimize any temptation by the state Department of Transportation to spend that money on projects other than debt retirement. The DOT has already demonstrated itself to be a profligate spender; let’s not feed that habit with excess, and idle, toll dollars.